Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Israeli Perspective

by Andrew Miller from Harvard Political Review (US: Massachusetts)

Former Israeli Ambassador to the US, Itamar Rabinovich: Bush is perceived to be a very good friend and a massive supporter of Israel. This came as somewhat of a surprise, because the Bush family doesn’t necessarily resonate with that. I think that his father’s administration ended up being a very positive administration for Israel, although there was quite a bit of friction between the administration and the Israeli government at the time. Normally, if you said the name “Bush” to an Israeli, he would immediately respond with “Texas, oil, Saudi Arabia,” but wouldn’t immediately link it with cordial sentiments for Israel. George W. Bush is different because he is embedded in the Christian right. He’s a born-again. I think he wavered, just on the eve of September 11 attacks, under Saudi pressure. However, September 11 and Arafat’s misguided response to it implanted him very firmly upon Israel’s side. So he’s been perceived as a cordial friend of Israel. Yet not everything your friends do necessarily works for you. I think that the jury’s still out on what the long-term effects of the war in Iraq are going to be for Israeli interests.

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